Chelsea manager Graham Potter is planning an ambitious raid on Manchester United for forward Marcus Rashford, claims a report.
Rashford has struggled for form over the previous two seasons, losing his place in the England squad in the process. Indeed, he managed a paltry five goals last season from 30 appearances in the Premier League and Champions League. And as his form suffered, negotiations over a new deal at Old Trafford also stalled.
His current contract is due to expire in summer 2023, though United do retain a one-year option on that. As a result, PSG were reportedly sniffing round Rashford over the summer as they sought to prise him away from Manchester.
Ultimately, that move did not transpire with new boss Erik ten Hag making it clear that Rashford was a key part of his plans. To that end, Ten Hag underlined his commitment to keeping the 24-year-old at Old Trafford last month.
“He’s really important,” he Dutchman said.
“You have seen from the first day I’m here, I’m really happy with him, I don’t want to lose him.
“He’s definitely in our plans at Manchester United.”
And that backing from the new manager has clearly inspired a big improvement from Rashford on the field.
He already has three goals and two assists to his name from six Premier League appearances. Now looking back to his best, that form has brought about fresh claims that talks over a new deal are starting to progress again.
And Ten Hag seemingly wants to lock Rashford down for the long-term with a new five-year deal reportedly in the works.
An agreement would cement Rashford to Old Trafford until 2027, keeping him there until the age of 29.
Chelsea watching Marcus Rashford situation
As it stands, however, he can technically leave Manchester United on a free transfer next summer. That’s a situation that is hugely unlikely to happen, though, with the club retaining that one-year option. That is something they will trigger to protect themselves from the prospect of losing him on a free.
Despite that, Calciomercato has named Chelsea as one of two clubs looking to pounce on the uncertainty surrounding Rashford.
Alongside Atletico Madrid, they are keeping a close watch on his contract situation. And it’s claimed both will make their move should an agreement on a new deal fail to be reached.
Of the two, it’s reported that the interest from Chelsea is most serious.
New boss Potter is getting to work on his new Chelsea squad following his appointment on a five-year deal this week. He faces a huge task given the recent trophy-winning history and two decades of success the club has enjoyed.
And one area that will need an urgent fix is in attack with Chelsea looking extremely toothless so far this season.
With Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both departing the Blues have struggled with Kai Havertz leading the line.
They brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a short-term fix, though at 33 he won’t carry on for long.
That’s where Rashford could come in. Potter has a history of reinvigorating fading careers, with Danny Welbeck one of those to benefit from him at Brighton.
But a deal for Marcus Rashford would be on an entirely different scale. That move would be seen as a hugely controversial one, given his rise through the academy at Manchester United.
It’s also one that Ten Hag will surely look to avoid too, with those contract talks taking on renewed significance amid Chelsea’s reported interest.
READ MORE: Six players who could benefit from Graham Potter’s arrival at Chelsea
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